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Inbreeding in a natural population of Euodynerus foraminatus (Hymenoptera: Vespidae), a solitary wasp with single-locus complementary sex determination


David P. Cowan. Fax: 269-387-5609; E-mail:


The solitary wasp Euodynerus foraminatus has single-locus complementary sex determination (sl-CSD), which is normally incompatible with inbreeding because it increases the production of sterile or inviable diploid males. Previous field observations of E. foraminatus have suggested that high levels of sibling mating are present in this species. However, conclusions about inbreeding and its genetic consequences could be flawed if based solely upon behavioural observations. Through microsatellite DNA genotyping of 102 E. foraminatus females in southwest Michigan, we estimate that between 55% and 77% of the matings in this population take place between siblings, but the frequency of diploid males is lower than expected. Our data suggest that a mixture of inbreeding and outbreeding persists in E. foraminatus despite the presence of sl-CSD.